words // Luis Sanchez
Nike Tennis introduces yet another look for the Air Max CourtBallistec 4.1, dressing the high performance shoe in a traditional black & red color combo.
The Air Max Courtballistec Nike Tennis shoes feature a durable synthetic built upper, with Air Max cushioning in the heel providing superior impact protection. The Air Max Courtballistec 4.1 is dressed in predominantly black, while university red handles the laces, tongue, liner and mid foot plate.
This latest look for the Air Max Courtballistec is now up for grabs here at Eastbay.
words // Brandon Richard
Spain’s Rafael Nadal will take the court in Paris later this month seeking an unprecedented 7th French Open Title, which would solidify his legacy as the greatest clay court player of all-time. For Rafa’s run, Nike Tennis has supplied him with a new collection of Roland Garros-inspired footwear and apparel, including this new make-up of his Air Max Courtballistec 4.3 signature shoe.
Falling in line with Rafa’s Paris look, this Courtballistec 4.3 features a white synthetic and mesh base for enhanced breathability and comfort. Scarlet Red DragOn 2x material at the toe adds durability, flexibility and support. Red also works the inner lining, laces and Max Air window surround, while anthracite handles paneling along the sides. Extra Durable Rubber on the outsole ensures long-lasting on-court support.
Stop by Eastbay to pick up these new Nike tennis shoes today.
Although it has taken Rafael Nadal less time to complete tennis’ Career Grand Slam than Roger Federer and Andre Agassi, for the last two weeks it probably seemed like an eternity. The weather over the two-week period at Flushing Meadows threw everything but the kitchen sink to throw off Nadal’s resolve. It started with blistering heat, then switched to unruly wind, and lastly the rains came, pushing back the men’s final a full day and then again mid-match on Monday. However, Nadal’s determination at this year’s U.S. Open was more relentless than New York’s recent weather.
On his path to becoming just the seventh man to win all four majors over the course of his career, Nadal was undeniably on a mission. Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic in four sets on Monday afternoon by forcing Djokovic into making mistakes with more power and a faster pace than Djokovic could keep up with. Nadal seemed to falter only once in the entire tournament, where in the second set of the match Nadal made a handful of unforced errors that ended up giving the set to Novak 7-5. For the briefest of moments, it looked like the weather, or something, might have shaken Nadal’s march to the Slam Title that has eluded him for seven years.
Just as quickly, it was back to business for Rafa, who finished off Djokovic over the next two sets to become the first lefty since John McEnroe to do so in 1984. Nadal’s first U.S. Open Title should help to silence the naysayers that have categorized him as unable to play on hard courts, as well. With this U.S. Open Title, Nadal becomes the second youngest player in tennis history to win nine titles. Only Bjorn Borg has reached the feat quicker. Even the man who most people compare Nadal to, Roger Federer, took nine months longer to reach nine titles.
Now that Rafael Nadal’s silenced doubters and joined the list of tennis greats that includes Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi and Roger Federer, it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t belong. It’s also hard to not think of the footwear lines that have followed the above names over the years.
For Nadal’s ninth Grand Slam title, he decided on a pair of Player Exclusive Hot Lime Nike Courtballistec 2.3s that have the potential to be enshrined in sneaker culture almost as certainly as he will be in tennis culture.
Bright colors and Rafa’s emotional play are reminiscent of John McEnroe and Andre Agassi, and also raise a question: Could a revival of tennis footwear follow?
My fingers are crossed. How about yours?
images via yahoo
As dominant as Serena Williams looked in the women’s final on Saturday, Rafael Nadal was all of that and more when he captured his second Wimbledon title in straight sets on Sunday. The Spaniard’s aggressive style and skill was too much to overcome for the 12-seeded Tomas Berdych. Sunday’s win gives Nadal 8 Grand Slam titles, landing him in a sixth place tie with legends such as Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, and Ken Rosewall.
Much like Serena’s performance in the women’s final, Nadal refused to let his serve be broken. On the other hand, he was able to break Berdych four times. The first set was tied 3-3 before Nadal recorded his first break of the match. After taking the 4-3 lead, Nadal never looked back. He went on to quickly win the next two games and jump out to an early 1-0 set advantage.
The second set began with a 10-minute game in which the Czech attempted to break Nadal’s serve. Berdych was able to get 3 break points, but they were all saved by Nadal. Rafael didn’t seem to have the same problems, as he was able to get six points off of Berdych’s second serve, including a successful break. Berdych missed a forehand at 6-5 to hand Nadal a two-set lead, a seemingly insurmountable deficit against the world’s top ranked player.
Though Berdych was able to find success with his serve in the third set, the outcome was till the same. He tried mixing up the angles, speeds, and power levels on his shots – only to have them fly back past him as winners from Nadal. Down 5-4 in the third, Berdych was broken once again to give Nadal a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victor in the final.
Nadal’s 8 Grand Slam victories put him at the half-way-to-Federer mark. For the second time, he’s won the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back. Prior to he and Federer accomplishing this feat the last three years, no player had done it since Bjorn Borg in 1980. Next up for Rafa is the U.S. Open, the Grand Slam event he has never won. That tournament kicks off in late August.
images via Yahoo
A little under two weeks ago, we pondered whether or not we’d see another Rodger Federer and Rafael Nadal tennis classic in the Wimbledon final. We received our answer when Czech-born Tomas Berdych pulled off a four set stunner against the defending Wimbledon champion. Now, after semi-final wins today by both Nadal and Berdych, we’re left with a Nadal vs. the man who beat Federer showdown for all the glory.
To reach the final, Nadal disposed of 4th ranked Andy Murray, who was making a bid to become the first British man to reach the Wimbledon final since 1938. All sets were competitive, with Nadal’s superior skill and athleticism shining through in the end. The first set was even at 4, until Murray hooked a forehand, giving Nadal the lead and a chance to serve it out. The second set went to a tiebreak, and saw Nadal’s resilience help him overcome a 6-5 deficit. The third set started with Murray breaking Nadal’s serve and going up 2-0. Once again, Rafa made adjustments, breaking back in the eighth game and eventually served his way into the final.
Berdych was also able to take care of business in three sets, this time surprising 3rd ranked Novak Djokovic. Berdych is the first Czech to reach the Wimbledon men’s final since Ivan Lendl in 1987. Once again, Berdych played more efficiently than his higher-ranked opponent. His serve was broken just once in 16 games, while he was able to break Djokovic three times. Berdych had 11 aces, 34 winners, and 17 unforced errors. In the third set, Djokovic committed two of his eight double faults to lose serve and give Berdych the chance to serve out the match.
Nadal and Berdych have played 10 times before, Nadal owning a 7-3 advantage. Berdych put his best run against Nadal together in 2005 and 2006, defeating him three straight times. However, Nadal has won the last six meetings, including 14 straight sets. Berdych will need some of his Wimbledon magic to carry over if he’s looking to hold up the trophy as the end of the day. Nadal will be looking for his second Wimbledon title in four straight finals appearances, not including last year’s tournament, which he sat out with an injury. Be sure to see who stands alone when the Wimbledon men’s final gets underway on Sunday.
images via Getty